Very heavy rain causes flash floods in Slovenia’s capital

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Very heavy rainfall has caused flash floods in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana that interrupted a theatre show, surged inside homes, hospitals and other buildings, and forced hundreds of interventions by emergency crews, authorities said Thursday.

The sudden storm caused the floods overnight after huge quantities of rain fell within a short period of time, officials said. Slovenia’s environmental authorities described the rain as a “once in two centuries event.”

Firefighters have reported more than 2,700 calls from citizens and some 400 interventions at various locations, including government buildings, hospitals, theatres, art galleries and schools. The official STA news agency reported that more than 500 buildings were flooded throughout Ljubljana.

“All critical infrastructure was flooded,” said Joze Golobic, the head of Ljubljana’s main hospital, the University Medical Center. “In the main building, the water was flowing down the stairs like a waterfall.”

Videos from various locations in Ljubljana showed flooded streets and homes, and people moving through the water. Water broke into the Ljubljana Drama Theatre building during a play, which was then halted, power was switched off and the audience was told to evacuate the building.

The rain also dispersed the last remaining protesters following an hours-long rally against virus containment measures and vaccination in Ljubljana, reports said. Slovenian police on Wednesday used water cannon and tear gas against the demonstrators who blocked a key road.

No injuries have been reported from the storm that also hit eastern parts of the Alpine nation of 2 million people.

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